(18)F-florbetaben uptake by brain tissue, measured by positron emission tomography (PET), is accepted by regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicine Agencies (EMA) for assessing amyloid load in people with dementia. Its added value is mainly demonstrated by excluding Alzheimer's pathology in an established dementia diagnosis. However, the National Institute on Aging and Alzheimer's Association (NIA-AA) revised the diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease and confidence in the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer's disease may be increased when using some amyloid biomarkers tests like (18)F-florbetaben. These tests, added to the MCI core clinical criteria, might increase the diagnostic test accuracy (DTA) of a testing strategy. However, the DTA of (18)F-florbetaben to predict the progression from MCI to Alzheimer's disease dementia (ADD) or other dementias has not yet been systematically evaluated.
To determine the DTA of the (18)F-florbetaben PET scan for detecting people with MCI at time of performing the test who will clinically progress to ADD, other forms of dementia (non-ADD), or any form of dementia at follow-up.
The most recent search for this review was performed in May 2017. We searched MEDLINE (OvidSP), Embase (OvidSP), PsycINFO (OvidSP), BIOSIS Citation Index (Thomson Reuters Web of Science), Web of Science Core Collection, including the Science Citation Index (Thomson Reuters Web of Science) and the Conference Proceedings Citation Index (Thomson Reuters Web of Science), LILACS (BIREME), CINAHL (EBSCOhost), ClinicalTrials.gov (https://clinicaltrials.gov), and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP) (http://www.who.int/ictrp/search/en/). We also searched ALOIS, the Cochrane Dementia & Cognitive Improvement Group's specialised register of dementia studies (http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/alois/). We checked the reference lists of any relevant studies and systematic reviews, and performed citation tracking using the Science Citation Index to identify any additional relevant studies. No language or date restrictions were applied to electronic searches.
We included studies that had prospectively defined cohorts with any accepted definition of MCI at time of performing the test and the use of (18)F-florbetaben scan to evaluate the DTA of the progression from MCI to ADD or other forms of dementia. In addition, we only selected studies that applied a reference standard for Alzheimer's dementia diagnosis, for example, the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association (NINCDS-ADRDA) or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) criteria.
We screened all titles and abstracts identified in electronic-database searches. Two review authors independently selected studies for inclusion and extracted data to create two-by-two tables, showing the binary test results cross-classified with the binary reference standard. We used these data to calculate sensitivities, specificities, and their 95% confidence intervals. Two independent assessors performed quality assessment using the QUADAS-2 tool plus some additional items to assess the methodological quality of the included studies.
Progression from MCI to ADD, any other form of dementia, and any form of dementia was evaluated in one study (Ong 2015). It reported data on 45 participants at four years of follow-up; 21 participants met NINCDS-ADRDA criteria for Alzheimer's disease dementia at four years of follow-up, the proportion converting to ADD was 47% of the 45 participants, and 11% of the 45 participants met criteria for other types of dementias (three cases of FrontoTemporal Dementia (FTD), one of Dementia with Lewy body (DLB), and one of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)). We considered the study to be at high risk of bias in the domains of the reference standard, flow, and timing (QUADAS-2). MCI to ADD; (18)F-florbetaben PET scan analysed visually: the sensitivity was 100% (95% confidence interval (CI) 84% to 100%) and the specificity was 83% (95% CI 63% to 98%) (n = 45, 1 study). Analysed quantitatively: the sensitivity was 100% (95% CI 84% to 100%) and the specificity was 88% (95% CI 68% to 97%) for the diagnosis of ADD at follow-up (n = 45, 1 study). MCI to any other form of dementia (non-ADD); (18)F-florbetaben PET scan analysed visually: the sensitivity was 0% (95% CI 0% to 52%) and the specificity was 38% (95% CI 23% to 54%) (n = 45, 1 study). Analysed quantitatively: the sensitivity was 0% (95% CI 0% to 52%) and the specificity was 40% (95% CI 25% to 57%) for the diagnosis of any other form of dementia at follow-up (n = 45, 1 study). MCI to any form of dementia;(18)F-florbetaben PET scan analysed visually: the sensitivity was 81% (95% CI 61% to 93%) and the specificity was 79% (95% CI 54% to 94%) (n = 45, 1 study). Analysed quantitatively: the sensitivity was 81% (95% CI 61% to 93%) and the specificity was 84% (95% CI 60% to 97%) for the diagnosis of any form of dementia at follow-up (n = 45, 1 study).
Although we were able to calculate one estimation of DTA in, especially, the prediction of progression from MCI to ADD at four years follow-up, the small number of participants implies imprecision of sensitivity and specificity estimates. We cannot make any recommendation regarding the routine use of (18)F-florbetaben in clinical practice based on one single study with 45 participants. (18)F-florbetaben has high financial costs, therefore, clearly demonstrating its DTA and standardising the process of the (18)F-florbetaben modality are important prior to its wider use.